Post Liver Transplant Complications
Possible complications following a liver transplant
Rejection is the body’s attempt to identify and expel what differs from itself, which can result in loss of organ function. Many transplant patients experience an episode of rejection after a liver transplant. Fortunately, organ rejection can usually be controlled with medication.
Acute rejection generally happens in the first few months after an organ transplant. There may be obvious signs of acute organ rejection, or there may be no indication at all. A biopsy is performed to diagnose acute rejection. During a biopsy, a very tiny piece of the organ is examined under a microscope. After a biopsy, usually we can determine why the rejection occurred, treat it successfully, and improve organ function.
Over a period of years, small rejection responses slowly destroy the organ. This type of rejection is hard to prevent, detect, or treat. This is one reason it is important to maintain a relationship with your local doctor and The Liver Institute at Methodist Dallas Medical Center transplant program. New treatments and medications are continually being developed that may slow chronic rejection.
The drugs used to prevent organ rejection can affect your ability to fight infections. You will be given some medications to help prevent infections. If you are diabetic, you can help prevent infections by controlling your blood sugar. Blood work will be performed regularly to catch early signs of infection.
As long as you take immunosuppressants, you must watch for and prevent infections. You will have to monitor yourself for signs and symptoms of infection. Professionals at The Liver Institute at Methodist Dallas Medical Center will teach you how to avoid infections and when to call us. Most infections can be treated and cured, but some require long-term medication.
Other complications after liver transplant may include bleeding, difficulty with blood sugars, or other conditions associated with surgery. There is also a chance you may develop stomach ulcers or experience weight gain, high blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol. Long-term complications are generally related to medication side effects. Following your transplant center’s advice and good follow-up with your doctor can help us recognize complications early and possibly avoid them altogether.
Texas law prohibits hospitals from practicing medicine. The physicians on the Methodist Health System medical staff, including those practicing at The Liver Institute at Methodist Dallas Medical Center and the Methodist Dallas Transplant Institute, are independent practitioners who are not employees or agents of Methodist Health System or any other affiliated institution.
The contents of this site are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult with your physician or other health care provider regarding any medical conditions or decisions about medical care.